Genesis Features Drama and Suprises: Matsuyama Wins

Hideki Matsuyama won the 2024 Genesis.
Photo: TGR Live/J.D. Cuban

The Genesis 2024 was filled with surprises. Hideki Matsuyama, who was one of three players tied for seventh after the third round, won.

Matsuyama, 31, had the lowest Round 4 score in the tournament since 1962. He is Japan’s top-ranked player and posted an overall score of 17-under 267 (69-68-68-62).

After the third round Matsuyama was not on the updated odds/picks to win the tournament. Instead, three-day leader Patrick Cantalay, Xander Schauffele, Will Zalatoris, Luke List, Jason Day and Harris English were all given higher odds of prevailing. A CBS update concluded “Cantlay’s (-14) well-rounded game should allow him to prevail at a course he’s been knocking at the door at for years.”

Luckily no one told the Japanese golfer, who had a final round of 62 and came close to breaking the course record of 61.  Matsuyama took home the $4 million top prize.

Matsuyama, 31, started Sunday with three consecutive birdies, followed by six straight pars before heading to the back nine.

The Japanese native made birdie on Nos. 10, 11 and 12 – including a 46-footer the par-4 12th.

Three birdies in a row (15-17), pushed him ahead of the field. On hole 15 Matsuyama made an iron shot from 189 yards and came within 8 inches of the par 4 hole. On the par-3 16th hole, he came within 6 inches of the hole. On the par 5 17th, his birdie came from behind the green.

His playing partner J.T. Poston said that Matsuyama’s round was one of the most impressive rounds he’d ever seen in person. “It’s definitely the best I’ve ever seen on TOUR. He had like four birdie putts that were like this — ” (Poston put his two index fingers 6 inches apart). “He hit a couple bad drives, but then recovered nicely and never even really had that long of a par putt. It was impressive.”

Matsuyama’s final round was the lowest closing round by a winner at The Genesis Invitational.

Tournament host Tiger Woods wrote on X (formerly Twitter) “Congratulations to Hideki on an incredible win at the Genesis. I was watching all day and seeing a record breaking 62 and coming from six shots back is truly special.”

His closest pursuer, Will Zalatoris, had two holes to play after Matsuyama finished on Hole 18. Zalatoris parred out, finishing in a tie for second along with early Sunday leader Luke List — who followed a front-nine 30 with a back-nine 2-over 38. Both Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, who were in the final pairing, faded into a tie for fourth with Canadian Adam Hadwin.

The top three players all cleared seven figures with Will Zalatoris and Luke List each taking home $1.8 million. The trio who finished tied for fourth, including 54-hole leader Patrick Cantlay, will bring home $866,666 each. Everyone inside the top 36 receiving a check worth at least $100,000.

TWO HOLES-IN-ONE

Will Zalatoris had his second hole-in-one in his PGA Tour career on February 16 at the Genesis. It was his first since 2020. (See video below.)

https://www.pgatour.com/video/competition/6347060045112/will-zalatoris-exciting-ace-is-shot-of-the-day

The golfer teed off on the par-3, 184 yard 14th hole and according to CBS Sports “it took a couple of bounces and rolled into the bottom of the cup for a hole-in-one.”

During the regular tournament, the player with the first hole-in-one each day on the 14th hole each round was to be awarded a Genesis GV80, while the caddie was to receive a Genesis Electrified GV70. In addition, the first player to ace the 16th hole each round would win a Genesis GV70, and his caddie would take home a Genesis GV60.

Zalatoris received a Genesis GV80 and his caddie received a Genesis Electrified GV70. A video shows Zalatoris throwing his club in the air and jumping into his caddie’s arms.

During the Pro-Am, Justin Thomas made a hole-in-one on the 16th par 3, 166 yards. Then, Genesis donated $50,000 each to Thomas and caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay’s charities of choice, the Justin Thomas Foundation and the Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children.

TIGER WOODS WITHDRAWS

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods, in his first tournament of the year, shot 1-over during the first round on February 15.

In the second round, he started with a birdie, before surrendering back-to-back bogeys on holes four and five. He was 1-over par through six holes before he withdrew from the tournament, exiting the course on a golf cart. Woods, 48, was examined by doctors, who said he had a medical illness, dehydration, and was given an IV.

On February 17, he wrote on X ‘I would like to confirm that I had to withdraw from @thegenesisinV due to illness, which we now know is influenza. I am resting and feeling better. Good luck to the players this weekend. I’m disappointed to not be there and want to thank @GenesisUSA and all the fans for the support.”

SCORECARD ERROR DISQUALIFIES SPIETH

Jordan Spieth, who tied for sixth at the WM Phoenix Open the week before, finished 3 under after making a double bogey at 18. He was within the cut at the Genesis at the time, at one-over.

But he signed for a 3 after making a 4 on the 245-yeard, par-3 fourth hole, on Friday, which led to a disqualification from the event.

He wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “Today, I signed for an incorrect scorecard and stepped out of the scoring area, after thinking I went through all procedures to make sure it was correct. Rules are rules, and I take full responsibility. I love this tournament and golf course as much as any on @PGATOUR so it hurts to not have a run at the weekend. Really appreciated the support in LA.”

How does that happen?

According to Xander Schauffele, there was a legitimate reason Spieth signed an incorrect scorecard, which led to his disqualification. It was a bathroom emergency.

“He was really sick, and he had a rough last hole,” Schauffele said. “I can see how it all went down.

“I heard he had to go to the restroom and came back like a minute later and the card was wrong,” Schauffele said. “Maybe there needs to be some sort of softening on the rules, but for the most part we all kind of know what goes on in there. It’s really unfortunate it happened.”

Spieth on social media, was able to laugh at himself, and congratulated Matsuyama on February 18 “Great playing Hideki! Just make sure you double check that scorecard.”

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